Ujima NP Brief History

History of Ujima NP

In 1995, Ujima was the second Neighborhood Place to open in Jefferson County.  It was located in the DuValle Education Center.  Ujima’s service boundaries included many single family homes along with two large public housing developments.  Residents in the area were predominately African American families, which included several generations of the same family.  The name Ujima represents the third principal of Kwanzaa, an African American holiday that celebrates family, community and culture.  Ujima means “Collective Work and Responsibility” which truly represents the vision of multiple agencies working together to “wrap” services around families.  The principal “Ujima” (Collective Work and Responsibility) focuses on building and maintaining strong communities and working together to solve the problems.  The first Administrator was Sylvia Johnson, a local resident that continues to be dedicated to meeting the needs of the community.  There are staff working in their own community and feel inspired about being able to “give back” to others.  The two housing developments in the area have been replaced with market rate renters, homeowners and subsidized units.  However; the history remains strong in the minds of residents that continue to live in the area and those that have moved to other locations.